Autonomous Drone HorseFly, Begins Delivery In Cincinnati

“Last mile delivery” is a phrase on everyone’s lips these days. The rise of online shopping by such companies as Amazon and Alibaba means there are more package delivery vans on the road than ever before. Maximum delivery efficiency with minimum fuel costs are vital objectives for the delivery industry.

And those are precisely the benefits the HorseFly from Workhorse provides. The company has begun a pilot program in the Cincinnati area with the approval of the FAA.

Here’s how it works. The driver loads a package into the drone compartment built into the roof of a delivery van. With the touch of a button, the drone undocks itself and flies to the delivery address. The customer can set a point on the property where the package is to be delivered and actually monitor the delivery process from a camera mounted on the drone via an smartphone app.

After delivering the package, the HorseFly drone flies itself back to the delivery van, parks itself, and begins recharging from the vehicle’s electrical system so that it will be ready for the next delivery.

During the pilot program, the drone will always be within sight of the driver, but eventually, the driver will be able to proceed along the delivery route, knowing the HorseFly will catch up later.